Red fox cub

©Jon Hawkins

Red fox

©Jon Hawkins

Red fox

Scientific name: Vulpes vulpes
Famed for their cunning and stealth, these orangey-red dogs with their bushy tails can be seen in towns and countryside. They come out mostly at night but can also be seen during the day if you’re lucky!

Species information

Statistics

Length: 62-72cm
Tail: 40cm
Weight: 5-7kg
Average lifespan: 2-3 years

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

The red fox is our only wild member of the dog family. They are not fussy eaters and will happily munch on small mammals, birds, frogs, worms as well as berries and fruit! Foxes that live in towns and cities may even scavenge in bins to look for scraps. A male fox, called a dog makes a barking noise whereas the females, called vixens make a spine-chilling scream sound.

How to identify

A medium-sized dog, the red fox is orangey-red above, white below, with black tips to the ears, dark brown feet and a white tip to the bushy, orange tail (known as the 'brush').

Distribution

Widespread, but absent from the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly, Scottish islands and the Isle of Man.

Did you know?

Red foxes live in a burrow system called an 'earth'. They scent-mark their territorial borders with urine, creating a very strong, recognisable odour. They also have scent glands on their feet to mark well-used trails so they can follow them easily at night.